Being part of the construction of Casa Comunal de Chamanga

Actuemos Ecuador is a collective of architects which sees its role not only as designers, but also as community activators.

Their work -and our participation- in Chamanga, consisted on the design and construction of a community space for Nueva Jerusalen, a community within the larger community of Chamanga, afflicted by the April 2016 earthquake. A community space is just as important as a family shelter, as it safeguards the cohesion of the community itself by facilitating communal life.

The space was to be built with locally sourced material, primarily bamboo. In addition used tires were implimented for the foundations of the structure. Bamboo is an incredibly versitale natural material with significant structural properties. Despite a sophisticated design construction method remains low-tech, thus making it a process that everyone can participate. Building the structure becomes a community participatory process. Besides the community itself, several other actors (volunteers, students, architects, etc) have contributed to the final structure.


What is special about the project is that it is a vehicle for building the community itself, by activating everyone in this process.  Men take part in the construction, while women cater to the meals provided for the volunteers, and kids not only are omnipresent in the process, but also take care of the entertainment in the evening with ad-hoc performances of dance, singing, etc.



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